"Music, too, tends to pluck at the chords of emotion. Tears are healing. I do not want to cry when I am not alone, but by myself I don't try to hold the tears back. In a sense this solitary weeping is a form of prayer." - Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle
I understand exactly what she means. I try not to cry in public, but it’s difficult at church sometimes. Oh, that music. The hymns he loved get me every time; at home it might be other music. Especially, but not limited to, The Avett Brothers. Occasionally it’s a scene in a movie. Or a beautiful evening sky. Or dates on the calendar.
Sometimes I’ll come across something that probably only I would understand. Like a book he read where some of the sentences were underlined. He would use an index card and make the lines perfectly straight. I’ve even found a card a time or two, with the edge faintly marked with ink where he had used it.
He was by no means OCD, but he did have these little endearing habits. Like buying the same socks and underwear at JC Penney. Or washing his work shirts every Tuesday. As often as my schedule allowed I’d do it for him. And he always thanked me. Now, this was YEARS into our marriage, not when I had four kids running underfoot and would have loved him to wash some shirts for ME. But, we all tend to mellow and learn so much as we age. As we should. And he thanked me!
“…any God worth believing in is the God not only of the immensities of the galaxies I rejoice in at night when I walk the dogs, but also the God who cares about the sufferings of us human beings and is here, with us, for us, in our pain and in our joy… I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights.” -Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle
This song has taken on new meaning for me this year. In peace and in sorrow, He is there. He is here.
It is providential that it was the hymn I read this past Sunday afternoon, still going through Aunt Marie’s hymnal. The story of this hymn was briefly mentioned that morning at church. You can read about it HERE.
Last year, my dear friend, Jeannie, gave me a necklace inscribed with this song title. It has become precious to me. I thank God for people like Horatio Spafford and Jeannie.
This song is unfamiliar to me, so when I thought about how to sing it a song popped into my mind from recesses of my musical memories. It can be sung very well to the tune of “Oh My Darling, Clementine”.
I like the last verse, “Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified…” It serves to remind us that all the pleasant and all the dreadful that we encounter are all ordained by God for our good.
I am not familiar with this hymn, but it brought to mind not just those who mourn, but many who are cast down. Last week I delivered food to three people who have Covid-19. Two of these people, a couple, also have family members with numerous health issues. I am blessed right now with good health. I thank God he has kept me healthy and I pray for these loved ones that they, too, might be restored to good health.
I had a very special aunt – Great Aunt Marie, and I am named after her. She lived in the Baptist Village in Waycross, GA, in her later years. I have several hymn books in the house, and one used to belong to her. The front page is stamped Waycross Primitive Baptist Church. I’ve decided to start going through them, singing the ones I know, reading the ones I don’t. Today it was All Creatures of Our God and King.
There are numerous versions of this song out there, but this one is my current favorite.
And I sing songs of sorrow, because you're not around...
November spells sweet memory, the season blue remains
November spells sweet memory, the season blue remains...
November Blue - TAB
So many things can trigger my tears, but it’s mostly music that gets me. Especially in church because Chuck loved the hymns so well. Sometimes in the early morning or on a Sunday afternoon I’d hear him softly singing from the hymn book while sitting in his office or in the kitchen.
Today we sang “To God Be the Glory” and “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”. Wonderful classics.
...taking away my burden, setting my spirit free;
for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me...